Seeing is Disbelieving
(Revised July 21, 2011)
by Edgar J. Steele
June 18, 2011
There are things in life that defy belief. Seeing them often is enough to set one on a path toward seeing unbelievable things at every turn. Seeing is disbelieving? Hmm…
The Red Queen of Alice in Wonderland Fame remarked that she often believed in impossible things; as many as six of them, all just before lunch, too.
A great many more people now are willing to disbelieve in the inherent justice of the American Justice System. They watched a jury in Boise convict me of four Federal felonies.
Sigh. Where do I begin?
You Could Be Next
This story will take some time and require several installments. If you have yet to hear anything about it, you will not believe it. You may not believe it, anyway. I do, however. I am living it. All too easily, you could be next.
I was convicted of hatching a plot to kill my wife, for which I allegedly hired an oafish Idaho handyman as a hit man. Already, something may not sound quite right to you.
A Case in Search of a Motive
Why did I want Cyndi, my wife of 25 years dead? I never have quite heard a reason that makes sense. First, Cyndi was told by the FBI that the motive was life insurance, but then they learned that both of us cancelled our policies years ago. Then, the FBI told her that the motive was my jealousy over her (nonexistent) boyfriend. Cyndi quashed that by demanding that the FBI produce photos they said they had; of course, there were none. They had told her another of what was to become a truly incredible number of lies in their haste to put me away.
Finally, the government settled upon a case I was investigating as motive, because I had communicated with a great many young Ukrainian women (with Cyndi’s consent and even, assistance) to determine if the Russian Bride business really was a human trafficking scam. First, as part of a case I briefly handled, then simply because I found the subject fascinating and worthy of writing a book about.
Two more novel motives were presented at trial: (1) I was after our car “uninsured motorist” insurance, though I was a lawyer and would have known full well that death by pipe bomb is not “accidental,” so that no insurance ever could be paid. (2) Divorce from Cyndi would be too expensive. Yet, the prosecutor failed to tell the jury that, long before the trial, I had signed all my assets over to Cyndi. Why, if I wanted all that we own (not much actually) for myself enough to want her dead?
Cyndi was part of every aspect of my life, even my communications and research overseas to determine how the Russian Bride business really worked. The book I planned, exposing the fraud was to be entitled “Love and Other Four-Letter Words” (subtitled “The Invasion of Planet Earth by Teenage Russian Mail-Order Brides from Cyberspace”). Supposedly, I wanted Cyndi out of my way so that I could run away to be with one (of over a hundred) of my teenage Ukrainian “girlfriends.” Seriously, that apparently is just what the prosecutor sold the jury! Of course, they had those damned audio recordings, as well.
I call this a case in search of a motive because, you see, I happen to love Cyndi. I know – that just isn’t fashionable in this day of throw-away relationships, but it is true.
I often have written of how lucky I have been to have had her. About the terrific kids we have. About how my family life serves to steady my universe. All true, even now, as I write these words from a jail cell in Northern Idaho while awaiting sentencing and endeavoring, as best I can, to get a new trial.
My Love Story
Let me try, first, to tell you of my love for Cyndi. She is my mate, pal, helper, lover, buddy, partner, mother of our kids… my first and last wife… my best friend. The love of my life. She is so much better than I deserve. I could go on.
There is a reason for this paen to my blushing bride, of course. To see that the Emperor of my story has no clothes, you must first get, on a visceral level, as do my closest friends, just how ludicrous it would be for me to want my wife dead.
I recall the moment I first laid eyes on Cyndi and the spontaneous burst of surprise and pleasure that crossed her face just before she cast her eyes down and first smiled for me that impish little grin of hers that I love so much. In less than two minutes, I was swept away, though I did my manly best to seem unaffected. It was love at first sight and, 27 years later, my heart still leaps up every time I catch sight of her again.
I could, and should, go on like this for a long time, but please know that I still see Cyndi as my one and only soulmate. There is much, much more to this story, though, and I have to give you at least an overview in this first installment.
At my lawyers request, I have kept silent (though not silent enough) about my case. I have made no public statements until today and have yet to speak with anybody from any media outlet. I bit my tongue during my recent trial and, against my better judgment, agreed not to take the stand to testify in my own behalf. Fat lot of good all that has done me!
No more. I did it my lawyers’ way and now, at age 66, I face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years, with 70 years a very real possibility. Obviously, any sentence over 10 years is superfluous to my life expectancy, especially in view of the medical problems I have seen in recent years (yet another lengthy, though relevant, tale that I call “It Only Hurts When I Breathe,” yet another story for another day).
Now we are going to do it my way, which likely will involve a good deal of sound and fury.
All My Trials
First up: Motion for a New Trial, which Federal Judge Winmill certainly will reject in summary fashion. I will have to rely on an appeal to get that new trial. It should be a laydown appeal, though, because this judge repeatedly committed reversible error (more than one story for other days).
We wrecked a sizable legal defense fund (the thanks for which would take more future stories than you would want to read) during the first trial, so I very possibly will have to represent myself at retrial. Spare me the jokes – all lawyers are fools (else we wouldn’t even be lawyers, of course).
Lessee now, where were we? Oh, yes. What really happened? Here’s the executive summary:
The Idahun Hit Man
Larry the Idahun handyman/builder/junk hauler whose cousin’s name must be Daryl, (though I do not yet know if Daryl has one or more brothers also named Daryl), worked off and on for us for years. Larry knew we had hidey-holes here and there on the property, because he built some of them for us. Larry stumbled across one of three of our silver stashes in an outbuilding and then he searched and found two others. All told, Larry stole $45,000 in silver bullion from us at the then price of $18 per ounce (twice that amount today).
Knowing I/we would discover the theft, Larry apparently decided that I/we had to go, so he set out to kill me/us with car pipe bombs. Like Wily Coyote, Larry must shop at Acme, because neither of the two bombs that he claimed to have placed on the two cars I drive (one of which Cyndi drove about half the time) went off.
Larry says he removed the bomb attached to one car and then believed the other “fell off” when his cousin Daryl failed to see it after being told to look.
There is an alternate theory explaining the car pipe bomb as having been emplaced by either Fairfax, the FBI or perhaps, the ADL after I was arrested, but the foregoing seems the most likely scenario. At first, even the FBI suspected my wife of placing the bomb, believe it or not.
It is undisputed that Larry sold silver to three different dealers on three different occasions (remember, he stole three of our hidden stashes) – he produced receipts for those sales (totaling just a few thousand dollars) during his testimony at my trial. Larry claimed I gave the silver to him as part of my $10,000 advance payment to him for killing my precious Cyndi. Larry did finally admit on the witness stand that I hadn’t given him the silver. He took it from one of the three hidey-holes, he said.
Making a Federal Case Out of It
Why did Larry then go to the FBI and fess up to “his” part in this sordid affair? In exchange for immunity, of course, as well as the silver he had stolen from us. The feds always allow their snithes to keep whatever they are able to carry away from the scene of their crimes. He still had to get me out of the way before I discovered his theft. I was beginning to mend from the four surgeries I had had in six months and was starting to get out of the house.
Cyndi later was to be awarded only $900 in restitution from Fairfax (not yet paid) – for the over $100,000 (at today’s market value) he stole from us. Pretty good incentive for him to lie for the government on the witness stand, eh?
Larry and I had been talking a lot during those six months, because we paid him to help us out with many things, including feeding our horses twice a day whenever Cyndi was out of town, tending to her very ill mother who lives alone. I explained my difficulties with the ADL, the Russian Mafia, the FBI and others. All he needed to do was make one phone call in order to be conscripted into helping get me out of the way, which is just what he wanted.
Just a Coincidence
The ADL’s Internet site hit piece on me was quoted at length in the very first court filing by the government – coincidence? Probably just another coincidence that document subsequently was removed from the court’s files and docket. Else, we might be entitled to think of my case in terms of a conspiracy. Of course, nobody pays any attention to us conspiracy “nuts.” The FBI is alleged by us conspiracy theorists to be in bed with, if not controlled by, the ADL. Yet still more coincidence? Why did Larry go to the FBI rather than the local Sheriff or state authorities, like most of us would? Yet still more coincidence?
Larry said that he travelled nine hours to Oregon to ensure the bomb fell off the car that Cyndi then was driving, but he couldn’t be bothered to take the time to look for himself. Really? Of course, it is just coincidence that this interstate trip is the only thing that gave jurisdiction to the FBI… isn’t it? Seriously now, do you still believe in coincidence? I don’t.
Ok, you may be saying – What’s the big deal? My word against the Idahun’s, so I should be exonerated without a fight. That would be true if not for those pesky audio recordings that Larry and the FBI claim memorialize my hiring Larry the Idahun hit man. But let’s save that story for the next installment in this epic affair: “Sex, Lies and Audiotape.”
There is so much more to come: Russian Mafia intrigue, teenage beauty queens, official (and unofficial) corruption, mail-order brides, Hannibal Edgar, the Tao of Ed, private jets, Tahiti…..and more, believe it or not. Remember, seeing is disbelieving.
With a little help from my friends and my lovely Cyndi, who resolutely has stood by me throughout this ordeal, I will get this and future installments out to my list and posted on my website , as well as others. Bear with us, please.I finally was seeing some of the mail sent to me in recent months. However, I once again am being moved and, at this moment, no one knows where. So please visit www.free-edgar-steele.com for updates on where to send mail.